We’ve been tracking the slow-motion car crash that is the European Union for a while here at Via Meadia, and it gets to feel like we’re writing the same post over and over again. The buck-passing, the institutional paralysis and the general denial that anything is systemically wrong seems to be so ingrained in European politicians that their wrong-headed policy responses have become depressingly predictable.
The past week, two briefstories encapsulated the current state of play in Europe perfectly. The first, coming via Brad Plumer, was this collection of quotations:
The second, appearing in the New York Times late last week, starts off like this:
For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe’s highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation.
Nice work, if you can get it.